JOHN MOONEY has designed an attachment to his batting helmet, protecting the neck at the back and side of the head, that could save lives in the aftermath of the Philip Hughes tragedy.

Mooney had started work on the innovation after seeing his cousin Eddie Richardson hit on the neck in a club game last year, and his work intensified when Australian batsman Hughes suffered a fatal blow at the Sydney Cricket Ground in November.

"It's a very simple idea and it's designed to attach to existing helmets," said Mooney, who wore the design he calls a "gorget" when batting against the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday. A gorget was a critical part of medieval suits of armour that protected the neck and throat.

"It's something myself and my father-in-law Alan Grant were working on last year. He's an architect and pretty useful with his hands too and we set about designing an extra grille to fix at the back of the helmet.

"Safety is something I was very aware of before what happened to Phil."

Mooney's invention has yet to pass safety tests so he is the only cricketer allowed to use it - "I'm not going to sue myself if something goes wrong" - but he hopes to have the gorget approved and in production within a few months.